While all vehicles have blind spots, the blind spots for a large truck are longer and deeper than they are for smaller vehicles. For a commercial driver, there are blind spots on the right and left sides as well as just in front of the cab and to the rear of the vehicle or trailer. Many truck accidents are caused by blind spots. A trucker can lose sight of a vehicle before stopping suddenly or passing, and the resulting collision may be catastrophic or fatal. A smaller vehicle runs the risk of being run off the road, being pushed into a concrete median, or getting crushed. If you are hurt because of a trucker’s failure to account for a blind spot, you should contact the Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids truck accident attorneys at Neumann Law Group. Each year for the past several years, our principal, Kelly Neumann, an award-winning trial lawyer, has secured more than $3 million in personal injury cases.Asserting Your Rights after a Blind Spot Collision
Due to the weight and size of commercial vehicles, a collision arising out of a driver's inability to see a smaller vehicle in a blind spot is likely to result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities for the occupants of the smaller vehicle. To try to avoid an accident, the driver of the smaller vehicle can drive defensively, avoid lingering in blind spots, avoid tailgating, and provide enough room when passing to avoid a blind spot. However, in some cases, a truck driver's negligence or fatigue results in a collision anyway.
If you are struck while your vehicle is in a blind spot, under Michigan's no-fault system, your first recourse is to recover compensation for economic losses through your no-fault benefits from your own insurer. However, in many cases, a truck accident results in injuries that meet the definition of a threshold injury. These include a permanent serious disfigurement, a serious impairment of a bodily function, or death.
If you suffer a threshold injury, you probably can sue the truck driver and possibly other responsible parties for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. In most cases, you will need to establish the driver’s negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. This means you will have to prove the duty of the truck driver, a breach of duty, causation, and damages. If, for example, a truck driver violates the FMCSA and state hours of service rules, and due to fatigue does not check a blind spot, this will likely constitute a breach of the duty to use reasonable care.
A truck driver's employer may be held vicariously (indirectly) liable for the driver's negligence. With vicarious liability, the trucking company's liability hinges on the jury finding the driver negligent in the course and scope of employment. In some cases, moreover, the truck driver's employer looks the other way or encourages a truck driver to violate the hours of service rules or other FMCSA and state regulations. This may give rise to a cause of action against a trucking company or agency for negligent hiring, training, or supervision.
In many cases, trucking companies' insurers and attorneys try to find ways in which an injured victim may have been at fault for an accident. If a jury finds you at fault at all, your recovery will be reduced by the percentage of your negligence that is a contributing legal cause of your injuries.Discuss Your Case with a Truck Accident Attorney in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit
Many trucks travel the roads of Michigan. If you suffer injuries due to a truck driver's failure to check a blind spot, the Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City truck accident lawyers at Neumann Law Group may be able to help you recover any economic and noneconomic damages to which you may be entitled. We represent victims in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula, as well as in California and Massachusetts. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney.